California's Advance Health Care Directive and HIPAA Authorization Kit
Now is a time of great uncertainty and anxiety in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. While many individuals who contract the virus won't experience serious complications, some individuals do and must be hospitalized. Those that are hospitalized are often in such serious condition that they are unable to make health care decisions for themselves. With the uncertainty that this virus brings, we cannot predict how we will react to it. That is why it is extremely important for everyone to have a legal, attorney-drafted advance health care directive.
What is an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD)?
If you are an adult and able to, you can make health care decisions for yourself. However, if you are unable or unwilling to make decisions, California law allows you to choose someone else to make health care decisions on your behalf.
An Advance Health Care Directive or AHCD is a legal document. It allows you to tell others what kind of health care you want to receive when you are too sick and unable to make decisions about your care.
The AHCD also lets you identify the person you choose who will work with your doctors and others to help ensure that your wishes about your health care are carried out. This person is called the health care agent. You should also nominate successor agents in the event your primary agent is unavailable.
In the AHCD, you can also set forth your preferences for organ donation, funeral or memorial services, disposition of remains, and religious involvement.
Anyone age 18 years or older who is able to make his or her own health care decisions can establish an Advance Health Care Directive.
What is a HIPAA Authorization?
In addition to an AHCD, you should have a corresponding HIPAA Authorization. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was put in place to help ensure the privacy and ease of access of your medical records. A HIPAA Authorization is a legal document that allows an individual to share specific health information with another person or group of individuals. Your appointed person or persons can be family members, close friends, other medical providers or even attorneys.
Why might you want to share your medical information with others?
Let's just say that a woman named Cindy is in the hospital. Her husband Mike is her appointed agent under her Advance Health Care Directives. Cindy's adult children who live out of state wish to find out how their mother is doing. Well, Mike would be able to call the hospital and inquire about Cindy's status since he is the appointed agent under her AHCD. However, if her children tried calling the hospital, Cindy's doctor would not be able to provide any details since the children are not her agent under the AHCD. Now, if Cindy executed a HIPAA Authorization that included not only Mike but also her children, then Cindy's doctors would have the power to release Cindy's medical information to everyone listed on the HIPAA Authorization document.
Contact Our Attorneys Today to Get Your Health Care Documents
Given the current climate, the Law Office of Lauren Rios wants to make the Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) and HIPAA Authorization documents accessible for everyone. That is why our office is currently offering a promotion where you can get both documents custom-drafted by our attorneys for the low cost of $250. This low fee includes the preparation of the documents for one individual and does not include counseling or advice on other matters unrelated to these two documents.
To get started on your Advance Health Care Directive and HIPAA Authorization documents, book an appointment with our office by clicking the button below. We have 15-minute consultations available each day. You will have an opportunity to pay the $250 fee when you book your consultation. During your consultation, we will answer your questions about the AHCD or HIPAA Authorization and discuss the process for preparing these documents.